Science journalists from the Global South offer tips to improve the coverage of COVID-19 and fight misinformation
The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ Journalism Courses program is publishing a series of briefings written by science/health journalists who have offered best practices and insights on covering COVID-19 in five different regions of the Global South: Latin America and the Caribbean, the Arab States, West Africa, Eastern Africa, and Southern Africa.
Journalists in Eastern Africa have been navigating the challenges of covering the latest COVID-19 vaccination developments, which are complicated by a lack of access to information about them.
Both inside and outside of the journalistic world, this excessive promotion and inappropriate exaggerations of the importance or potential value of a particular study, treatment, drug or area of science has a specific name: ‘hype.’
Mia Malan, executive director and editor-in-chief at the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism in Johannesburg, South Africa, says: “If you want to report on COVID-19 in a meaningful way, it’s not good enough to just understand the science.”
The global health crisis has revealed how the public is thirsty for science news, how the work of journalists is essential, and that reliable, rigorous and unmanipulated information can save lives.
In-depth journalism becomes more important in the Middle East and North Africa region to improve the Arab public’s understanding of the complex and interrelated effects of the pandemic on local communities.